Notice of hearing on fungi to protect cereal crops

The Environmental Protection Authority is holding a hearing to decide on an application to release non-toxic Epichloe fungi. Epichloe endophytes could improve the resistance of cereal plants to insect pests, fungal diseases and drought.

The EPA has previously approved the import and release of 45 strains of asexual Epichloe fungi. Grasslanz Technology Ltd has applied to add a further 18 strains to the approved list of endophytes.

The hearing will be held on Monday in the Lambton Room 1, at the Terrace Conference Centre, St John’s House, 114 The Terrace, Wellington. It will begin at 10am and is expected to adjourn around 2pm.

The hearing will focus on the benefits, risks and costs of the Epichloe fungi in new cereal-endophyte associations for applications in agricultural systems.

The EPA’s role is to oversee applications for new organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. We assess the benefits, risks and costs of releasing new organisms to safeguard people and the environment.

You can read more about this application and the hearing process here on the EPA website.

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